Press Releases

Monday, April 16, 2012 1:28 PM

The results of PA Principals Association's 2012 Election have been announced thanks to our Nominations Committee -- Brian L. Cashman, Sr., chairperson, and members Wayne R. McAllister and Marshall J. Wagner, along with Dr. Barry L. Purvis, PA Principals Association president, who assisted in obtaining the candidates for this year's election.

After members voted online, we are proud to report that the following are your newly-elected president-elect, secretary and regional representatives for this year's election.

President-Elect (Sec.)                -        Dr. William T. Ziegler, Pottsgrove M.S., Pottsgrove S.D.
Secretary (Elem. or Sec.)         -       Dr. Linda W. Marcincin, Slatington E.S., Northern Lehigh S.D.
East I Elementary                -       Paul L. Stefani, John Adams E.S., Scranton S.D.
East II Secondary               -       Richard R. Kaskey, Fleetwood M.S., Fleetwood A.S.D.
Central III Elementary               -       Dr. Robert J. Gildea, Foot of Ten E.S., Hollidaysburg S.D.
Central I Secondary                -       Curtis E. Johnson, State College Area N. H.S., State College A.S.D.
West II Elementary                -       Gregg L. Paladina, Sugarcreek E.S., Karns City A.S.D.
West II Secondary                -       Leonard A. Rich, Sharon H.S., Sharon City S.D.

 
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 1:53 PM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) will conduct live sessions on  "Understanding AYP 2012" at each of the PaTTAN offices on the dates and times listed below. In addition, each live session can be joined remotely via GoToWebinar. To attend a live session at one of the PaTTAN offices, register through the PaTTAN web site. To join a session virtually via GoToWebinar, click the associated link (note each session has a separate, distinct link) to register.

DATE                                 TIME                                                               LOCATION
April 30, 2012     9:30  - 11:30 a.m.                       PaTTAN Harrisburg


April 30, 2012     1:30  - 3:30 p.m.                           PaTTAN Harrisburg


May 2, 2012           9:30  - 11:30 a.m.                       PaTTAN Pittsburgh


May 2, 2012           1:30  - 3:30 p.m.                           PaTTAN Pittsburgh


May 4, 2012           9:30  - 11:30 a.m.                       PaTTAN King of Prussia


May 4, 2012             1:30  - 3:30 p.m.                           PaTTAN King of Prussia

PDE's Bureau of Assessment and Accountability staff, Tom Gillin and Dana Klouser, will review and provide updates on the following
AYP related topics:

  1. Goals and targets of the measures to make AYP, at both the school and district levels - including the new 4-Year Cohort Graduation Rate, to be used for AYP determinations in 2012.
  2. 2012 PSSA and AYP Results Timeline and Bookmark.
  3. Data Corrections and AYP Appeals Process and Forms.
  4. Accountability Workbook.
  5. Keystone Exams Update.
 
Thursday, April 5, 2012 2:48 PM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) will be conducting a webinar on Tuesday, April 24 from 2-3 p.m. to discuss the validation process for local assessments that may be used to meet the state's new graduation requirements. Under the Chapter 4 regulations, school districts may use either the state developed Keystone Exams, locally developed and independently validated assessments, or a combination of Keystone Exams and local assessments to demonstrate proficiency for purposes of graduation. The information presented in the webinar will assist schools in making the decision to use the Keystone Exams, local assessments or a combination as a graduation requirement.

This webinar is a follow-up to the one presented in November 2011.   (The November webinar and the Local Assessment Validity Evaluation Handbook are available for review at:   www.pdesas.org/localassessmentvalidation)

The follow-up webinar will provide additional information to assist schools as they make the decision to use either the Keystone Exams, or a locally developed and independently validated assessment as a graduation requirement. Schools must inform PDE of their intent to choose the local assessment option by June 30, 2012.   A Local Assessment Validation Notification form will be posted in time for the webinar at: www.pdesas.org/localassessmentvalidation.     To reserve your webinar seat register now at:   https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/366528354     Please direct all questions regarding this webinar to: ra-local-assessment@pa.gov


Source: PSBA Legislative Report, April 5, 2012.

 
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 1:26 PM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) invites all school districts, charter schools, intermediate units and career and technical centers to join them in Phase III of the continued development and implementation of a new teacher evaluation system in the 2012-13 school year.   Please note that SIG schools using the Transformation model are required to participate in Phase III unless these schools have developed an approved alternative that includes student achievement.

The major elements of this project include:

  • A detailed teaching practice rubric based on Charlotte Danielson'ss Framework for Teaching;
  • On-going study and refinement of "multiple measures of student achievement" and their correlation with the teaching practice rubric;
  • Detailed guidance on the evaluation process, its components and the evidence to be considered for evaluation;
  • The refinement of a formula for determining the summative evaluation rating;
  • Participation in a training network through the intermediate units;
  • External evaluators to analyze the third phase of the project; and
  • Utilization of an online evaluator training system to address inter-rater reliability.
Phase III implementation sites will have the opportunity to provide recommendations, based upon their experience, for the final design of the new teacher evaluation form. In addition, Phase III implementation sites will be able to offer recommendations for the evaluation guidelines that will include local flexibility, practice components and evidence recommendations.

Phase III implementation sites will also have the opportunity for ongoing online training at no cost, as well as priority registration for the PDE Institute which will be held in December 2012.

Please join PDE in this very important endeavor. It needs a broad representation of the education community across Pennsylvania to develop a strong system. You may select individual buildings for the pilot rather than the entire LEA. This may be the last opportunity to have input before PDE finalizes the rubric and components of the system.

PDE will be conducting an informational webinar from 10:30 a.m. until noon on April 26, 2012, to discuss Phase III and answer questions.   Instructions to attend the webinar can be found at the end of this Penn*Link. Questions on Phase III should be referred to Deb Wynn, executive policy specialist, at dewynn@pa.gov.

If you know you are ready to participate in Phase III, you can indicate your commitment by visiting the following URL and providing the requested information.   We will be asking you to provide more detailed data at the end of April. The URL is https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/S5K8RYR.

TO JOIN THE WEBINAR THE DAY OF THE EVENT:

Note:   You may join the webinar up to 30 minutes prior to the start time.  
  • Go to http://vclass.cciu.org/.
  • Click the hyperlink for the webinar titled "Teacher Effectiveness -- Phase III Information."
  • Log in as "Guest."
  • Enter your email address.
  • Enter Display Name: Please enter your first name, last name, and LEA or organization (e.g., Mary Smith - PDE).
  • Click the "Log In" button.   Note there is NO password needed to join the webinar.

    ALERT! There has been a recent upgrade of the Elluminate ® webinar application that requires everyone to test their connection to the server if they have not participated in a webinar since August 4, 2009 (see pre-webinar setup instructions in next section).

MANDATORY PRE-WEBINAR SETUP AND SYSTEM TEST:
  • Next, test your connection to the server that will host the webinar by going to: http://vclass.cciu.org/join_meeting.html?meetingId=1157038045616.   On this site, log in as a "guest" and enter your name and email address.

    NOTE: If you belong to an agency with a firewall-protected network, you will need to have your network tech person open ports 80 and 2187. You may need to turn off your proxy server if you have problems connecting.


SUPPORT FOR ELLUMINATE ® TECHNICAL ISSUES:

  • Contact the Chester County Intermediate Unit support team:   Diane Thomson, dianet@cciu.org
 
Friday, March 23, 2012 6:49 PM

Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis today [March 22, 2012] nominated four Pennsylvania schools to compete for the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools award. The Green Ribbons Schools program recognizes schools that save energy, reduce costs, feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protect health, foster wellness and offer environmental education to boost academic achievement and community engagement.

The four schools nominated are:  

  • A.W. Beattie Career Center, Allegheny County  
  • Radnor Middle School in Radnor Township School District, Delaware County
  • Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School in Chambersburg Area School District, Franklin County
  • Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, Philadelphia.


Pennsylvania joined 32 other states and the District of Columbia in the Green Ribbon Schools pilot program this year. Among participating states, Pennsylvania had the highest number of schools to submit applications.

To read the full PDE press release, click here.

For additional information about Pennsylvania Pathways Schools, visit www.pathwaystogreenschools.org.

  

 
Friday, March 23, 2012 4:53 PM

Pennsylvania school districts and charter schools eligible to receive Title I funding during the 2011-12 school year are eligible to receive a Race to the Top grant. Approximately 50 percent of Pennsylvania's $41,326,299 Race to the Top federal grant will be awarded to eligible local education agencies (LEAs) to support the adoption and implementation of Pennsylvania's educator effectiveness models and instruments.

Based on the Danielson Framework, these tools are designed to improve the way teachers, specialists and principals are evaluated, and to enhance educator training and professional growth in the Commonwealth.

Race to the Top grant funding may be used by a LEA for any expenses incurred through participation in related professional development and for costs associated with the implementation of the educator effectiveness instruments post professional development.

To demonstrate the intent to participate in Pennsylvania's Race to the Top Program, LEAs must create a Request for Grant (RFG) application in eGrants no later than midnight on Friday, March 30, 2012, and submit via eGrants no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, April 27, 2012. Please Note: Creation of an RFG application only signals the LEA's intent at the time of creation; it does not commit the LEA to participate.

If an eligible LEA does not create a Request for Grant application in eGrants by midnight on Friday, March 30, 2012, the LEA will be deemed to have  'opted-out' of the Race to the Top grant. Grant funding initially allocated to those LEAs electing not to participate will be reapportioned to participating entities; therefore, the final grant allocation may be higher than the initial grant allocation listed on the Race to the Top web site.

To learn more about Pennsylvania's Race to the Top LEA Grant Program and the Request for Grant Application process, LEAs are invited to participate in a one-hour informational webinar at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 29, 2012, (instructions posted below). If a LEA is unable to attend, the webinar will be recorded and available through April 27 under  "Recordings" at http://vclass.cciu.org.   

Additional Information:

Pennsylvania's Educator Effectiveness Project, visit:
http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/newsroom/7234/page/1034646

Race to the Top Program, including eligible LEA and allocations and application guidelines, visit: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/american_recovery_and_reinvestment_act/17696/race_to_the_top/1066062

Note: A LEAs Race to the Top grant may be higher than the initial allocation if other eligible LEAs  'Opt-Out'

To Participate in the March 29 Webinar:

You may join the webinar up to 30 minutes prior to the start time.   

•    Go to http://vclass.cciu.org
•    Click the hyperlink for the webinar titled  "Race to the Top" -- LEA Grant Application
•    Log in as "Guest"
•    Enter your email address
•    Enter Display Name: first name, last name and LEA or organization (e.g., Mary Smith -- PDE)
•    Click the "Log In" button (there is NO password needed to join the Webinar)

Test your connection to the server that will host the webinar by going to http://vclass.cciu.org/join_meeting.html?meetingId=1157038045616.   Log in as a "guest" and enter your name and email address.

If your browser is Internet Explorer, it must be version 7.0 or later. Additional system requirements for Elluminate are located at http://www.pdewebinars.org/systemrequirements.php.

If your agency has a firewall-protected network, your network tech person must open ports 80 and 2187 and may need to turn off your proxy server.   For technical assistance, contact Diane Thomson with the Chester County Intermediate Unit at dianet@cciu.org.

 
Thursday, March 22, 2012 3:09 PM
Click here to access Section 1124 - Causes for Suspension and Section 1125 - Suspensions and Reinstatements (Under Article XI, Professional Employes, of the Pennsylvania School Code of 1949).
 
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 6:23 PM

Gov. Tom Corbett'ss proposal to make passage of three course-specific Keystone Exams a state requirement for high school graduation, starting with the Class of 2017, is drawing opposition from a variety of corners.

Click here for the full story in the Patriot-News.

Source: The Patriot-News, March 14, 2012.

  

  

  

 
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 6:13 PM
Reminder -- the last day to register to vote in the primary is Monday, March 26th. The primary election is April 24, 2012.
 
Monday, March 12, 2012 8:13 PM
Congratulations to Curtis Johnson, PA Principals Association board member and assistant principal in the State College Area School District, for being recently elected   to the NASSP Board of Directors as the Assistant Principal-At-Large!
 
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P.O. Box 39, 122 Valley Road, Summerdale, PA 17093 Phone: (717) 732-4999 Fax: (717) 732-4890
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